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Health Insight April 2001:
The British trust their doctors

  An opinion poll of nearly 2000 people has found that the British public still trust doctors and are satisfied with the services they receive from them.

The survey, conducted by MORI for the BMA, found that 89 per cent of people thought that doctors told the truth; judges scored 78 per cent , journalists 18 per cent and politicians 17 per cent . Eighty-nine percent of people were either satisfied (53 per cent ) or very satisfied (36 per cent ) with the way doctors did their jobs. Only nurses (95 per cent ) scored more highly in this regard. The only area of some concern was that a significant minority (35 per cent ) of respondents felt doctors paid too little attention to feelings. Hospitals as institutions fared worse than doctors; 59 per cent said that the people running hospitals paid too little attention to the rights and feelings of patients.

BMA Chairman, Dr Ian Bogle, said, 'I am delighted with these results. It shows that you should trust the public to make mature judgements based on their own experience. Patients read about high-profile cases but they know doctors are doing a good job in difficult circumstances.'

Source: BMJ 24 March

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  Produced in United Kingdom by The British Council © 2001. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for educational and cultural relations. Registered in England as a Charity.